top of page

Paul Rabinowitz

In the Original Language

I understand what Adam went through in the garden in July on the first day when all was calm and the wind barely blew as things were slowly being figured out but wonder what Eve was looking for because she understood more than he would ever know and she was complete and her body was truth and like a dancer that moves away from a small town in Ohio or New Mexico or a place that no one goes to unless someone is dying you found me sitting alone on a park bench with paper and pen and said your name in the original which is Chaya as in living as in the present tense and I thought who would name their child living unless they believed she will continue dancing despite the tragic end of the first act as in the way your body springs as you walked across the grass with strong torso extended neck and ballet slippers dangling from ribbons strewn over wide shoulders and I deliberate about the enormity of our next move together but like a visionary you’ve already choreographed in your mind how this will all play out on stage as your eyes scan this perfect space of fruits and flowers even a stream tumbling through a crack in the rock down a cliff  into a small pool where two gazelles gather drinking fresh water and you look at me with those gentle eyes knowing I lack experience unsure if I can do any of this here with you in July then like the sweet sound of chirping crickets I hear three words that sound like I know you blending with the gurgling pulse of water over smooth rocks and turn my head towards the crevice of your mouth to make sure I understand the words in the original language and realize I have never heard a dancer speak while on stage 


If this is part of the living performance then how should I take these three words that cause my body to tremble and wonder if you are aware of how words can trigger something this new world has never felt


I am still learning


and succumb to this moment knowing the three words you speak are now living inside me and the wild garden you have chosen for this act is within you as you are knowing but I am still gathering and I wonder how will others know about this moment and will they question the act so do I need to record this or should the act of living be all we need?  what of those who don’t understand the words in the original? so I pull a piece of dry grass from the field reach for low hanging fruit then squeeze the juice into your palm dip the reed into the ink onto your perfect body and write Adam then next to it the word Desire and with the tip of the reed dripping red I scribe your name in the present tense in the original language and feel my pulsating body contract as you smile with each stroke of the reed then you ask me to write a poem about a dancer and turn towards me exposing your thighs my hand moving like the gazelle skipping over rocks and I look around at this setting the reed on your flesh and the words flow out from my body in the original language we spoke together for the first time on a perfect day in July in the garden and I question if this is living then will I stay here with you forever or until 


something in the new world that we can not explain turns


and the weather cools


rain pours down hard from the dark sky above and with no protection our bodies shiver and the living words written in the original language across your body wash off and I wonder if living is changing and knowing is forgetting and when the scenes of the perfect garden fade I return to Ohio or New Mexico or someplace where names are in past tense and the original is sin


I turn to look at you for the last time knowing I might never see anything like this again

Jim Zola 675DC4F9-2C15-4B6C-B6DA-57E28D416349.jpeg
bottom of page